Everyone loves Bidoof
January 14, 2022 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Bidoof's Big Stand, a cute short film about everyone's favourite normal-type beaver-inspired Pokémon. Bonus: a 2 hour metatextual analysis of Bidoof's contribution to society.
posted by Stark (18 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, that was very cute and I love his li’l sneezes, but I am nonetheless troubled by the whole pokémon-to-trainer relationship in the pokésociety.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:32 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


These are both super cute--thanks! To anyone dropping in who hasn't played Pokémon it may be important to know that some of the Pokémon in your party have to learn utility moves that have to do with interacting with terrain, and for much of the game, you may choose not to depend on those same Pokémon in other contexts and just use them for those moves.

Regarding the Pokémon to trainer relationship, someone on Usenet once pointed out it's legible as an allegory for team management. The person on Usenet didn't elaborate, but the idea--reasonably consistent with the anime--is that Pokémon teaches kids to think about leadership as transformational, authentic, helpful, etc. rather than transactional, and part of what makes using a Pokémon primarily for moves that interact with terrain into a kind of joke or problem for the premise of the game is that it feels transactional.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:49 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Super fun video, thanks! Please, folks, do watch the full analysis before snarking here. It's quite enlightening.

Was there a fan groundswell of Bidoof love previous to the Bidoof Day in Pokemon Go? Or do Niantic and the Pokemon company just think it's funny?
posted by team lowkey at 12:01 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Bidoof is pretty popular because it's a useful mon in the game it debuted in (sinnoh had so fucking many HM moves, god) and because it's a pokemon that can do a lot of things, isn't very good at any of them, but will never give up or stop trying. People can relate.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 12:20 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


It's not Pokemon's fault that a lot of the team management (/wealth management) in the United States is historically done with whips and coffles.
posted by eustatic at 12:24 PM on January 14


Bidoof is becoming a close second to my all-time favourite Pokémon, but then there's this Pokétoon featuring Magikarp and, no, I'm sorry Bidoof, you cannot compare.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:36 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Was there a fan groundswell of Bidoof love previous to the Bidoof Day in Pokemon Go? Or do Niantic and the Pokemon company just think it's funny?

There was a Bidoof meme that was fairly popular many years ago. I think that might be where the fandom's fondness for Bidoof really got off the ground.
posted by May Kasahara at 12:58 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


bidoof's expressions remind me a lot of the beaver in the gobelins short "le royaume."
posted by pmdboi at 1:10 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Katemonkey: "Bidoof is becoming a close second to my all-time favourite Pokémon, but then there's this Pokétoon featuring Magikarp and, no, I'm sorry Bidoof, you cannot compare."

I was sure that was going to link to the Magikarp Song, which, yeah, sorry again Bidoof.
posted by team lowkey at 1:14 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


team management (/wealth management) in the United States is historically done with whips and coffles.

I read that for a moment as "whips and coffees" and imagined it as a riff on Starbucks for a second.
posted by pwnguin at 2:22 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Oh, is this the thread where we share animated pokemon shorts? I ask because Harry Partridge (of Doctor Bees fame) released a pokemon horror short a few days ago. (cw: body horror, gore)
posted by forbiddencabinet at 6:01 PM on January 14


I am reminded of the 2014 Pokemon World Championships, where the winning team included the electric squirrel Pachirisu. Now, normally you wouldn't take Pachirisu to the World Championships - it's not a particularly strong pokemon, it doesn't have cool moves or great defence. But if you build it just right, what you can do is have it distract the other team and have them waste their big attacks trying to hit the Pachirisu, some of which will even heal it, leaving the other pokemon to whale on the opposing team unimpeded.
posted by Merus at 7:04 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I am a bit too hold to have been into Pokemon when it first appeared but my son is into it now and I have to admit that I enjoy watching with him. (Is it normal to like Team Rocket more than pretty much anyone else?)

However, I spoiled it for my wife when I joked "It's basically magical cock fighting, isn't it?" I'd really like it if someone can reassure me that it's NOT and that there's something else going on there because even though Ash (and even Jamie and Jessie) are often kind to their Pokemon they're still going around making them fight each other...
posted by synecdoche at 5:05 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I'd really like it if someone can reassure me that it's NOT

In general, Pokémon are intelligent--often very intelligent. In Island of the Giant Pokémon (summary; full episode), subtitles show what all of Ash's team are really saying when they repeat their names, and if you don't take that episode as key evidence, this Reddit thread covers a bunch of more typical examples. Also, a major plot point early in the anime is that once Charmander evolves he's increasingly unimpressed by Ash and won't do as he says--so the trainer level requirement in the game is translated in the anime to a Pokémon's conscious acceptance / rejection of any commands. In other words, if you take it literally, it's more like a multi-species Karate Kid / Cobra Kai with teams of martial arts trainees choosing to face off in controlled environments, while a trainer helps them develop their abilities.

At the same time, one problem for a literal reading is that humans ostensibly eat a few Pokémon, so finding your way through exactly how analogous they are to humans vs. animal species takes some real casuistry--the article notes several ways the issue has been mitigated, and like the Reddit thread says about intelligence, the Pokédex has plenty of inconsistencies. Another problem with a literal reading is it may just be too literal--like, sure, adults often joke about it being an allegory for cock-fighting, so perhaps this could be a problem wherever cock-fighting is common enough for its cultural codes to come into play so strongly when interpreting Pokémon that the intelligence / consent themes don't matter. But for most kids who're into it, probably those themes do matter or else the cock-fighting analogy slides by without a trace because it's not relevant to anything they think about or do.
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:41 AM on January 15


In other words, if you take it literally, it's more like a multi-species Karate Kid / Cobra Kai with teams of martial arts trainees choosing to face off in controlled environments,

I must have forgotten the part, between the beating of Pokemon into submission and capturing with a pokeball where the discussion and boxing contracts were signed.
posted by pwnguin at 9:57 AM on January 15


You should probably watch the show, then, because analogous things do happen--not just the thing I mentioned about Charmander, but the many Pokémon who are caught without battle, released whenever they want to be released, etc.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:03 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


>In other words, if you take it literally, it's more like a multi-species Karate Kid / Cobra Kai with teams of martial arts trainees choosing to face off in controlled environments, while a trainer helps them develop their abilities.

I'm only familiar with the games, not the cartoons, but this has been my assertion as well. Pokemon literally have to fight to grow -- not just to get stronger, but to evolve into their "adult" forms. Wild pokemon are so violent, nobody can leave town without a pokemon bodyguard, or else they'll get murdered in the tall grass. The trainer/battle system makes things safer for both humans and pokemon by turning it into a regulated sport with some order to it -- for example, automatically yanking pokemon out of battle when they're knocked out, rather than letting them kill each other.
posted by rifflesby at 10:56 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Previously, re: eating pokemon.
posted by team lowkey at 11:24 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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